News of Madison Valley

Big crowd, great questions at SR 520 Rest of West open house.


We want to thank the approximately 300 people who attended our open house Tuesday in Montlake to learn about WSDOT’s construction plans for the next phase of improvements within the SR 520 corridor from I-5 to Lake Washington – the segment we call “the Rest of the West.” We’ve posted the meeting’s informational display boards online for those who couldn’t attend and want to know more about the highway work that’s ahead.

In addition, there’s still time to attend our virtual, online open house. Here you’ll not only find lots of information and conceptual design renderings about the Rest of the West, but you also can send us feedback on our plans. This online “meeting” will be open through July 8.

Information on WSDOT website

We received a lot of good questions and comments at last night’s open house at Saint Demetrios Hall. It’s clear that people want to know how their neighborhoods will be affected during all the upcoming construction, and what the end result will be when the work is done. A lot of information can be found in the SR 520: I-5 to Lake Washington section of our website, including on the project design page and in the published 2014-2015 West Side Design Refinements report

The Montlake Market

One frequently raised topic at the open house was the status of the Montlake Boulevard Market. We’re preparing a Q&A on this and other topics discussed during the open house. We’ll post the Q&A and send you a link in an upcoming email update, but meantime, here’s a brief bit of background on the market and SR 520 construction.

The market and adjacent 76 gas station lie directly along the south edge of the SR 520/Montlake Boulevard interchange. Following the Legislature’s 2015 approval of funding for the Rest of the West improvements, WSDOT furthered the project design and preconstruction planning. Through this effort, we determined that we’d need to acquire the property where the market and gas station are located. In early 2018, we’ll begin constructing an improved interchange and landscaped highway lid from Montlake Boulevard to 24th Avenue Northeast.

Why do we need to acquire the property?

  • WSDOT needs the property to build some of the project’s planned improvements, such as retaining walls and fill, sidewalks, connections to shared-use trails, and utility relocations and modifications.  We also will use the property for construction staging and traffic shifts.
  • We determined in the 2011 environmental impact statement that we’d have to close three of the four driveway accesses into the gas station. The gas station and market are business tenants on the property. The change in driveway access will affect the operations of both tenants.
  • We are in discussions with the property owner regarding WSDOT's purchase of the site and the operations of the businesses.

We know these businesses are important to many people in the Montlake area. We’ll keep the community updated as this process unfolds.

Construction project time line

A number of individuals at the open house wanted to know when we will start constructing our west side improvements, and when we will complete the work. The schedule for big construction projects can shift for a variety of reasons, but here is our current time line for the Rest of the West:

Phase 1

  • Montlake lid, West Approach Bridge South, land bridge over SR 520
  • Construction to begin by 2018
  • Estimated duration: 4-5 years

Phase 2

  • New Portage Bay Bridge with regional bike-pedestrian path, Roanoke lid, improved I-5 interchange, bike-pedestrian I-5 crossing 
  • Estimated to begin as early as: 2020
  • Estimated duration: 6 years

Phase 3

  • Second bascule (drawbridge) over Montlake Cut
  • Estimated to begin as early as: 2024
  • Estimated duration: 3 years

Thanks again for joining us at the open house.


Topics: Transportation, Construction